Skeleton Pirate

Skeleton Pirate
Artist: LindaB


Have you experienced, or read about, negative, and even dangerous, side effects from Fosamax (alendronate), Boniva (ibandronate), Actonel (risedronate), and other bisphosphonates prescribed for osteoporosis? If you have, then rest assured there is a safe, effective treatment for this condition. Strontium, primarily in the form of strontium citrate, is taken orally once a day.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Strontium Ranelate Safety

_ 3,790 patients were exposed to strontium ranelate during phase II and III trials. The overall incidence rates of adverse effects did not differ significantly from placebo. Adverse effects seen were generally mild and transient. The most common were:

_ headache (3.0% v 2.4%), nausea (6.6% v 4.3%), diarrhea (6.5% v 4.6%), loose stools (1.1% v 0.2%) dermatitis (2.1% v 1.6%) and eczema (1.5% v 1.2%)

_ In phase III studies, the annual incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) observed over 4 years was approximately 0.7%, with a relative risk of 1.42 (CI 1.02; 1.98, p=0.036) in strontium ranelate treated patients as compared to placebo treated patients. The cause of this finding is unknown. Strontium ranelate should be used with caution in patients at increased risk of VTE, including patients with a past history of VTE. The risk for strontium ranelate appears to be less than that seen with Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERM) or hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

_ Disturbances in consciousness, memory loss and seizures were all reported with higher frequency in the strontium ranelate group.

Improvement Of Bone Microarchitecture By Strontium Ranelate

The analysis of transiliac bone biopsy samples from phase 2 and 3 clinical trials of strontium ranelate has provided further evidence of the good bone safety of strontium ranelate in the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Strontium ranelate improves both trabecular and cortical bone.

At the trabecular level, strontium ranelate significantly increases trabecular number by 14% and decreases trabecular separation by 16%, shifting trabeculae from rod-like structures to plate-like patterns. At the cortical level, strontium ranelate enlarges cortical bone dimensions by increasing cortical thickness by 18%.

Strontium ranelate is the first oral treatment to improve both trabecular and cortical bone in postmenopausal osteoporotic women. The change in 3D trabecular and cortical microarchitecture may improve bone biomechanical competence and explain the decreased fracture rate after strontium use.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Measuring Risk Of Fracture

An individual's risk of fracture over a given period of years can be predicted using one of two models. Both are simple to use by individuals with no medical training. A patient simply answers a few questions.

The FRAX tool was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and gives the 10-year probability of hip fracture and the 10-year probability of a major osteoporotic fracture (spine, forearm, hip or shoulder fracture). It includes height, weight, personal history of fracture, family history of fracture, smoking, alcohol consumption, use of corticosteroids, rheumatoid arthritis and secondary osteoporosis. This model ignores falls. It is the most commonly used fracture-risk algorithm worldwide. To access it, follow this link, click on "Calculation Tool," and select your location and race/ethnicity:

A second model is used in Australia to determine whether Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme reimbursements for osteoporosis therapy apply. It was developed by the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney. The Garvan fracture risk calculator is based on gender, bone mineral density, age, history of personal fracture, and history of falls over the last 12 months. It is incredibly simple but is believed to incorporate the most critical risk factors. It provides five and 10 year risk assessments for hip fracture and for any osteoporosis/fragility fracture. The T-score and BMD in g/cm2 used in this tool refer to the values at the femoral neck, which will read Hip (neck) on most DXA scan reports. To access this calculator:

Wandering Skeleton

Wandering Skeleton
Artist: Joel Hoekstra

Osteoporotic Bone

Osteoporotic Bone

How Strontium Builds Bones

Strontium is a mineral that tends to accumulate in bone. Studies have shown that oral doses of strontium are a safe and effective way to prevent and reverse osteoporosis. Doses of 680 mg per day appear to be optimal. See my "For More Information About Strontium" links section.

Osteoporosis is caused by changes in bone production. In healthy young bones there is a constant cycle of new bone growth and bone removal. With age, more bone is removed and less new bone is produced. The bones become less dense and thus more fragile.

Scientists believe that strontium works in two ways. It may stimulate the replication of pre-osteoblasts, leading to an increase in osteoblasts (cells that build bone). Strontium also directly inhibits the activity of osteoclasts (cells that break down bone). The result is stronger bones.

When taking strontium, be sure to take 1200 mg calcium, 1000 IU vitamin D3, and 500 mg magnesium daily. It is best to take strontium late at night on an empty stomach. Calcium and strontium may compete with each other for absorption if taken together.